A BRIGHTON company says starting a four-day work week three years ago is “possibly one of the best decisions” it’s ever made.

A shortened working week is fast becoming a trend in the UK as firms seek ways to boost productivity and attract the best talent.

On Monday, around 70 British firms began a groundbreaking trial - with staff on full pay while doing one day a week less - and they are joining a growing list of employers doing the same.

Brighton and Hove based recruiters MRL opted for a four-day week for all staff whilst still paying them their full salaries three years ago. 

The Argus: David StoneDavid Stone

David Stone, chief executive of MRL Consulting Group, said: “Our motivation was simple: we wanted to stand out amongst the growing number of recruitment firms competing for people to join their teams, give our team a better work-life balance and benefit from the productivity increases that the research has shown for years. 

“The best people would want to join MRL, and the team we already have would want to stay. 

“Three years on and we couldn’t be happier.”

Every single member of staff regardless of seniority, length of tenure or performance works a four-day week, and offices are kept open on Fridays if anyone does want to come in, but this certainly is not expected. 

Staff work flexibly or remotely so their hours are different to accommodate different lifestyles, but everyone does 4 days.

Since the company made the move productivity is up and so are profits, says David. 

He said: “Within six months of us moving to a four-day week, short term absenteeism was down by 40 per cent, productivity was up by 25 per cent and 87 per cent of our staff admitted their mental health had noticeably improved as a result of the extra time off. 

“Having just celebrated our 25th anniversary and the company’s best financial year in 25 years of business, the proof is in the pudding and productivity is up by almost 30 per cent.

David says the firm does not have “any reason or intention” to go back to working any other way. 

He said: “It’s the future of work, and with the trial kicking off in the UK this week, I think we will see a huge uptick in companies adopting it as part of their policy.

“We’ve been around for over 25 years now, and transitioning to a four-day week is possibly one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. 

“The quality of life, morale, mood, mental health and productivity of every member of staff has improved. 

“It’s worth mentioning that a four-day week shouldn’t replace an existing employee benefit policy, but add to it. 

“We still give our staff increased holiday, 100 per cent of pay for 80 per cent of the time, duvet days, a fully paid sabbatical after five years of tenure and flexible / remote working opportunities, as well as international travel to our offices in the south of France and Germany.